Date Published: 21 January 2009
Campaigners 'flash squat' at the seat of power
It was bottoms out on the South Bank this morning as around 80 campaigners marked the end of International Year of Sanitation by squatting in full view of Westminister. The stunt was organised by the End Water Poverty Campaign, of which UNICEF UK is a member.
Bemused onlookers watched as campaigners 'flash-squatted' for two minutes as Big Ben struck 9.00am, before getting up and leaving behind a fake poo.
“The fact that toilets are at the bottom of politicians’ lists, is outrageous when you consider that 5,000 children die every day from lack of basic sanitation," Steve Cockburn, the International Campaign Coordinator for EWP said. "2008 was the International Year of Sanitation but those in power have yet to take notice. Our flash squat stunt gives a snap shot of what London would be like if we didn’t have toilets - something that is a reality for 2.5 billion people across the world.”
Every year 1.8 million children die as a result of disease caused by poor sanitation and unclean water, equivalent to one child every 20 seconds. A recent WaterAid report highlighted sanitation as probably the biggest cause of death for children under five in the developing world.
In 2009, End Water Poverty is urging Gordon Brown to be a sanitation champion. He must talk taps and toilets, ensure action from world leaders and prioritise these fundamental human rights alongside health and education.
Source: UNICEF Main Website.
See also UNICEF Online Gift Shop